Warren Buffett took the stage without Charlie Munger for the first time

Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK-A, BRK-B) annual shareholder meeting on Saturday was the first meeting of a new era for the conglomerate.

For the first time in decades, Warren Buffett was not joined by Buffett Vice Chairman Charlie Munger while taking hours’ worth of questions from Berkshire shareholders. Munger died late last year at the age of 99.

In his annual letter to Berkshire shareholders, Buffett called Munger the “architect” of the modern Berkshire Hathaway, which takes its name from a now-defunct textile company in New England and has grown to become the largest conglomerate in the S&P 500.

Buffett, along with Berkshire vice chairmen Greg Abel and Ajit Jain, began the hour-long question-and-answer session at 10:15 a.m. from shareholders.

For the first time, non-shareholders were also able to watch the annual shareholders’ movie, which featured a collection of some of Munger’s best punchline quotes over the years, as well as some celebrity cameos featured in these movies. Through the years.

At the start of the Q&A, Buffett discussed the company’s decision to balance Apple ( AAPL ) shares in the first quarter, saying that, in his view, it is “very likely” the company will remain its own while the company sells shares. Largest stock investment at the end of the year.

Given the company’s growing cash and treasury stock, the stock’s value could exceed $200 billion in the current quarter, Buffett said, noting that he was “very satisfied” with the position.

Asked about increasing Berkshire’s overseas investments, particularly in China, Buffett said, “Our primary investments will always be in the United States.”

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  • Florida ‘relies more on free market’ than other states with insurance problems

    Across the country, across policy types, insurance rates have risen in recent years.

    No state has seen more turmoil than Florida.

    Asked Saturday about the state of the Florida insurance market, Berkshire Hathaway Vice President Ajit Jain, who runs the group’s broader insurance operations, said the state’s insurance markets have had “some tough years.”

    Citing challenges in the state’s legal system and storms that have caused significant damage in the state in recent years, Jain said, “It is very difficult for a risk bearer to make money.”

    In March, auto insurance rates in the U.S. rose 22.4% from a year earlier, the highest in 47 years. The average auto insurance premium in Florida is now north of $2,900 a year, making it the third most expensive in the nation.

    Jain also noted that Florida is currently a market subsidized by the rest of the country — meaning, on balance as a state with more expensive claims, insurance carriers in Florida offset these costs by collecting premiums in less volatile markets. — but said this dynamic “will not stand the test of time.”

    Longer term, however, Jain appears optimistic about the market: “I believe Florida will be a moderate insurance market because, at the end of the day, they believe in the free market more than other states. [an] Insurance Crisis Like California and New York.”

  • Apple’s AI releases soon…

    With Apple ( AAPL ) CEO Tim Cook and Microsoft ( MSFT ) co-founder Bill Gates in the room, Warren Buffett strikes a cautious tone on AI.

    He said he had an experience with AI that made him very “nervous.”

    He saw an image “before his eyes” of him and his voice and wearing his clothes giving a message that “there is no way from him”.

    “If I’m interested in investing in fraud, [AI] It will always be a growth industry. … Obviously, AI has the potential for good things too. … Someone who doesn’t understand one damn thing about it is that it has tremendous potential for good and tremendous potential for harm,” Buffett said.

  • 2 Charlie Munger told Warren Buffett he wanted to buy the stock

    BYD (will) and Costco (cost).

    Those are two stocks Warren Buffett told Berkshire Hathaway shareholders on Saturday that Charlie Munger had argued hard for during their years together.

    “Charlie knocked on the table with me a couple of times and said, ‘Buy, buy, buy.’ BYD was one of them and Costco was the other,” Buffett told shareholders. “I should have been more aggressive at Costco.”

    “Our absence is not dangerous, Buffett added. “But [Charlie] Right time, big time at both companies.”

    Buffett’s response came when asked by a shareholder what the company should do to increase investments in China. Currently, EV maker BYD is the company’s sole investment in the country.

    Buffett said: “Our primary investments will always be in America.”

  • Warren Buffett’s next big deal won’t come from abroad

    Warren Buffett is sitting on a pile of cash in Berkshire ( BRK.A BRK.B ), but don’t expect any big deals to come from overseas.

    Buffett reiterated his desire to invest in America:

    “Even though we participate in the global economy through these companies, you don’t see a lot of investment outside of the U.S. I understand the rules, the weaknesses of the U.S. [and] Strength…. I don’t have the same feeling in general around the world. Luckily, I didn’t have to.”

    However, Buffett reaffirmed his commitment to investing in Japan.

  • Warren Buffett Calms Apple Concerns

    As Myles Udland noted above, Berkshire ( BRK.A BRK.B ) sold some Apple ( AAPL ) shares in the first quarter.

    Buffett quickly moved to quieter concerns about the tech company, saying if his views on Apple had changed:

    “No, but we sold stock. … At the end of the year, I think Apple will have the largest common stock that we have right now. … Charlie and I looked at the common stock … being a business, when we own a Dairy Queen or whatever it is, We look at it as a business … We always look at every stock as a business.

    Buffett later compared Apple to longtime holdings American Express ( AXP ) and Coca-Cola ( KO ), noting that Apple will play a role when Greg Abel takes over.

    Michael Kelley of Yahoo Finance contributed to this post.

  • If Warren Buffett is worried about the country’s debt situation…

    It doesn’t show up on Berkshire’s (BRK.A BRK.B) cash and treasury bill line on the balance sheet.

    Berkshire disclosed that it held $182 billion in cash and T-bills at the end of the first quarter. Buffett told shareholders that number will reach $200 billion by the end of the second quarter.

    Concerns about the nation’s debt are starting to mount on Wall Street.

    Below is what Bank of America (PAC) CEO Brian Moynihan told Yahoo Finance about our nation’s debt.

  • Warren Buffett’s elevator pitch to become a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder

    If you ever need this fodder at a cocktail party…

  • Berkshire Insurance’s app shines, but won’t repeat this year

    The main driver of Berkshire’s $11.22 billion operating profit in the first quarter came from the company’s insurance operations, which were up from $5.2 billion in the first quarter.

    In a discussion on the company’s first-quarter results, Ajit Jain, who leads Berkshire’s insurance operations, said, “I want to point out to everybody that you can’t take first-quarter insurance revenue and multiply it by four. Buffett said it’s not. Work that way in insurance.”

    Buffett noted that the company’s insurance risks are spread across geographies and catastrophe types, but a major storm on the US East Coast would pose the greatest risk to the company. Hurricane season in the Atlantic runs from June to November.

  • Berkshire Pays Tribute to Charlie Munger

    For the first time, Berkshire Hathaway produced its annual shareholder video — which precedes the Q&A session at the annual meeting — on Saturday, featuring Charlie Munger and a collection of some of his best one-liners, from annual meetings and more. Public appearances.

    Munger died in November 2023 at the age of 99.

    A Mungerism featured in the movie, Munger said at an earlier shareholder meeting: “If I can stay optimistic while I’m almost dead, surely the rest of you can handle a little inflation.”

    Elsewhere, Munger added: “The right way to make decisions in practical life is based on your opportunity costs. When you get married, you have to choose the best option for you. The same worst option for the rest of your life.”

  • Berkshire posts record operating profit as Apple drags down investment gains

    Berkshire Hathaway ahead of Saturday’s annual shareholder meeting reported First quarter revenue showed a record operating profit of $11.22 billion.

    In the first quarter last year, Berkshire’s operating profit was $8.1 billion.

    However, the company’s investment gains were just $1.48 billion against $24.75 billion last year.

    Apple’s ( AAPL ) roughly 10% decline in the first quarter weighed on the results here.

    In its first-quarter report, Berkshire cut its Apple stake in the first quarter. At the end of 2023, Berkshire’s Apple position was valued at $174.3 billion; At the end of Q1, the position was valued at $135.4 billion.

    However, at last year’s annual meeting, Buffett emphasized to investors that Berkshire doesn’t actually comprise this percentage of its overall portfolio.

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